TNUMC Camp & Retreat Ministries Announce Suspension of Summer Operations

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Beersheba Springs Assembly and Cedar Crest Camp have announced that they will suspend operations for the 2020 Summer season.  This decision is supported and endorsed by the TNUMC Camp and Retreat Board of Directors, Bishop McAlilly, and TNUMC Connectional Ministries.  Camp and Retreat exists to provide churches, families, and communities the space to encounter God, grow in faith, and hear God’s call.  The base of this work rests on Christlike hospitality and doing no harm.  As such, camp and retreat ministry will use this season to support campers, guests, and churches in sharing resources for discipleship and outdoor retreat while strengthening their reflexes of hospitality in the season to come.

With the loss of summer camp operations at Cedar Crest and a strong season of scheduled retreat at Beersheba Springs Assembly, please consider supporting camping ministry with your prayers and gifts.

From Beersheba Springs:

Beersheba Springs Assembly

Keeping our guests, church community, and staff healthy is our top priority and is guiding our decision-making process as we look to the next several months of scheduled retreats. We are currently working with those who have scheduled events or retreats in the next several weeks and months to reschedule and adjust to each group’s needs as we are able. We will continue to closely monitor the situation through this season and get in touch with each of our currently scheduled groups as needed. Please feel free to reach out to us if you have any questions or concerns about your upcoming retreats or events. 

We know the power of the little moments along with the mountain top experiences that happen when you join us for retreats will happen again at a later time. Together we mourn the experiences lost but pray that you are creating your own retreat experiences at home. Take advantage of a few quiet moments to reflect on what God is doing in your life, enjoy the beauty of spring’s new birth, and allow yourself to take some moments of peace and rest.

While we will miss seeing you on the mountain this spring and early summer please know that we are saving your favorite rocker for a time when together we can gather and find the joy and respite we all will need.  If you are interested in supporting us in the months to come, please connect with me at

Sarah Ratz
Director, Beersheba Springs Assembly




From Cedar Crest:

We cannot imagine what your families, communities, and churches have experienced these past two months.  You have been in our prayers constantly.  In so many ways, summer camp is the most normal thing that happens in people’s lives.  No matter what the school year is like, or what changes in schedules, family events, or the life of the church, summer camp is a constant. It is a pillar of childhood, a cornerstone of discerning youth and adults.

It is with much sadness that we are canceling summer operations at Cedar Crest for Summer 2020.  We do this out of the desire to keep our campers and their families, as well as our summer staff and their families healthy.  We believe fully that to experience Christ fully, hospitality and love must set the table.  We have made this consultation with experts and framework from the American Camp Association, the United Methodist Camp and Retreat Ministry Association, and key ministry neighbors Lakeshore United Methodist Assembly and Project Transformation Tennessee.  Our Board of Directors has been consulted and the Tennessee Conference Administrative Services has been a key and strong supporter during these past five weeks.

Our staff remains in place and we continue to work on our grounds and facilities to prepare a place for you, your family, and your church when the time comes.  We will share ways to connect with summer camp in the weeks to come and as our social situation allows, opportunities to come back to camp to connect and spend time.

If you are registered for Summer 2020, we will be offering you a full refund.  If you would like to offer that registration as a donation to camp operations, you can let me know by email at .  Any gifts you are able to share are much appreciated, and you can donate here.

We know that this season will transform how we serve you in ways large and small.  This season of resurrection is not only metaphorical but constantly practical.  But such is the life of faith, and such are our relationships, forever renewed in time.  We have 6 straight years of growth, tripling in size, with a growing family of campers, faith stories, and call stories.  There is good work ahead!

As we learn more, we will have more to share about our Fall schedule and the seasons to come.  Know that we love you, your campers, your families, and your churches.  Get outside safely so that you may see and hear God, our creator, and sustainer!

With peace,
Russell Casteel
Director, Cedar Crest Camp
Executive Director, TNUMC Camp and Retreat Ministries